Jump to content

Fossils in Chicago?


Recommended Posts

Hi all!

 

Well, I'm excited to say that my husband and I will be traveling to Chicago for a weekend in April - yay!!!  I'll be on my own on Saturday, April 13 while he attends Star Wars Celebration.  He suggested that I go for spa treatments, but I said that there are better ways for me to spend the day - I can get spa treatments anywhere, but this will be my first time in Chicago!!!  So, I was wondering, is there any chance of finding fossils in the city, perhaps somewhere along the lake shore?  And if not, are there any other suggestions for what I can do to pass the morning/afternoon while my husband is nerding out at the convention? :)

 

Thanks for your help!

 

Monica

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Monica, hope you have a wonderful weekend.:)

Ralph might have some idea.

@Nimravis

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not looked for fossils in and around Chicago so have no first hand info. I did find this. It may be helpful:  Read First Families of Chicago: Local life until about 400 million years ago an illustrated view of local fossils with suggestions of where to see them.  People have posted pictures of trilobites they have found in the break walls somewhere between Chicago and Milwaukee. Mazon/Braidwood isn't too far away. Not sure if it would be open for hunting yet. Have a great trip. 

 

Mike

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oooh - I just found out that I can go to The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago while I'm there and visit Sue the T. rex!!! :raindance:

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Monica, collecting for Mazon Creek opens on March 1st, so that is an option, just know that it is about a 1 1/2 hour drive to Pit 11 and most likely a little more coming back. 

 

The Field Museum is also a good choice if you are downtown and I believe that there is a City Pass that you can buy that I believe also would let yo into the aquarium and planetarium- also nice places to visit and within walking distance to each other.

 

You could also take an Uber for a quit drive up Lake Shore Drive into Evanston and visit Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop ( You can see posts that I have put up in the Trip to the Museum area on the Forum).  Besides having the best Mazon Creek  Fossil displays probably anywhere in the US, they also have other great fossils to in there Museum in the basement and fossils and other items for purchase.

 

It is a little far our for to say if I am free at that time, but if I am I would be happy to drive down to the city and pick you up to collect at Pit 11 or go with you to Dave’s. If you are interested, just PM me as the time gets nearer, and I will have a better handle on what is going on.

 

 

 

  • I found this Informative 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of the information, Ralph! @Nimravis

 

Re: the city pass - I just looked into it and I won't need to purchase one because I have a membership to the Ontario Science Centre and that should allow me to get basic admission into The Field Museum and the planetarium, so if that's what I end up doing then I should be covered - yeah!

 

I will be indeed be in contact with you as the date approaches and if you're free then I'd love for you to be my tour guide for fossil-related things - thanks for the offer!  

 

So, it looks as though regardless of what I do, fossils will be the way I spend my free day in Chicago - woohoo!!!  :yay-smiley-1:

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, my first thought was the Field Museum of Natural History.  I have wanted to go there since I was a kid.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, KimTexan said:

Yes, my first thought was the Field Museum of Natural History.  I have wanted to go there since I was a kid.

I was lucky enough to go there (many) times as a kid. I used to make a trip into the city virtually every Sunday with my grandfather. He was a master of navigating the city bus lines and the transfers between them. With a kid's fare and a senior citizen fare it was quite economical. I'd visit Chicago's Museum Campus (Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum) on alternative weekends and add the trip a bit further south to the Jackson Park area to add the Museum of Science and Industry into the mix. I was at these places so often that I had most of the exhibits pretty much memorized and could quickly spot any changes.

 

Speaking of changes--Sue is on the move!

 

It had been a while since I'd been to the Field Museum so I took the opportunity to stop in for a visit on my birthday when I was up in Chicago last year. When I was there, Sue had been chased off from the spot she'd occupied for several years in the museum's main hall. Sue was being added to a new gallery in the dinosaur section of the Evolving Planet exhibit and her mount will be modified to account for some scientific updates. The space formerly occupied by Sue is now home to a touchable cast of a 122 foot long Patagotitan mayorum titanosaur. The neck and head are mounted so that you can see "eye to eye" with the titan from the second floor of the main hall. The exhibits were just being moved when I was there and work had not finished at that time. I expect the dust has settled and you'll be able to see Sue 2.0, the new titanosaur (which, because it is a cast and not protected, will probably be swarmed with selfie-takers) as well as all of the other great things to see. There is a great exhibit on the fossils from nearby Mazon Creek so make sure to seek that out. Also, wear comfortable shoes as your feet will be tired at the end of the day trying to take it all in.

 

I'm assuming Viola will be with you so I'd suggest seeking out one of the MOLD-A-RAMA machines (nearly old enough to be considered fossils in their own right). A couple of bucks will get you a short "show" as your selected plastic figurine is injection molded. I got an Apatosaurus for my birthday. :)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6OJMBj2_Ek

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

  • I found this Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

@digit

 

Hi Ken - thanks for the info!

 

Actually, Viola won't be with me - my husband and I are taking a weekend away without the kids!!!  This will be the first full weekend we've both been away from the kids at the same time, which is crazy when I think about it because Viola is over 8 years old!!!  I organized this weekend as a gift to my husband since he's turning 50 in May and he LOVES Star Wars!  We'll both be going to the "celebration" on the Friday, and then I just got him a ticket for the Saturday which is why I'll be on my own on that day.  Needless to say, my husband is vibrating with excitement at the prospect of attending the convention, and now I'm getting excited, too, since I'll be able to do some fossil-related stuff while we're there!!!  April can't come quickly enough... :)

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Have fun! If you do have a wee bit of time to squeeze into a very busy itinerary, the city has some of the most phenomenal public art works. You have to visit Cloud Gate in Millennium Park!

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, the rare weekend without the progeny. I'd say you'll have to get a MOLD-A-RAMA for Viola (and of course, one for yourself). ;)

 

I spent my 50th up in Chicago as well. I had several large slices of a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza from Giordano's and washed it down with an excellently hopped adult beverage and a fistful of ibuprofen. I needed the NSAIDs as I'd spent the day digging a rather large hole in the ground. Before it was sold the Fossil Rock Campground was an excellent place to dig for Mazon Creek nodules.

 

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/topic/46819-mazon-creek-hunt-6714and-the-results/&do=findComment&comment=509485

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

 

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

The shedd aquarium and Adler planetarium are right next to the field museum if you don't spend all your time there. I get into the planetarium for free as well with my reciprocity membership.

  • I found this Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...